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Introducing the 2019/20 UMS Season

“UMS’s 2019/20 season was conceived with an eye toward the familiar and the disruptive, the traditional and the uncommon, and the emotional and the provocative — sometimes even within a single work or performance.”

— UMS President Matthew VanBesien

Welcome to UMS’s 141st season

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2019/20 Season Tickets

Press Resources

View Full Press Release (PDF)

View Chronological List of Events (PDF)

Season Highlights

Is This a Room
No Safety Net 2.0 is three-week festival of four provocative theater productions that foster timely conversations around topical social themes.

Leonidas Kavakos, Emanuel Ax, Yo-Yo Ma
Yo-Yo Ma returns in a program with Emanuel Ax and Leonidas Kavakos, performing Beethoven Piano Trios.

Snarky Puppy
The season launches with a performance by jazz/funk collective Snarky Puppy.

Amadeus film
The Detroit Symphony Orchestra and UMS Choral Union will perform the live film score to a screening of Amadeus.

As Far As My Fingertips Take Me
Starting in 2019/20 and for the next few seasons, UMS is pleased to renew a focus on artists, institutions, and ensembles from the Arab World — including Tania El Khoury’s As Far As My Fingertips Take Me and a performance by the Tarek Yamani Trio.

Teac Damsa
Two Swan Lakes. American Ballet Theatre returns to the Detroit Opera House in a co-presentation with Michigan Opera Theatre, and Irish dance-theatre company Teaċ Daṁsa makes its UMS debut in an acclaimed contemporary and dark deconstruction of the classic tale.

The biennial UMS Song Remix series returns with a focus on the art of the song in its diverse forms — including a co-commission of Zauberland with international partners.

UMS will present a co-commissioned work by Andrew Norman in a “composer’s evening” with yMusic, also featuring music by contemporary luminaries such as Caroline Shaw, Michigan natives Andrew Norman and Shara Nova (also known as My Brightest Diamond), Missy Mazzoli, and Gabriella Smith.

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How to Order Season Tickets

Current season ticketholders can renew their series with priority seating starting Monday, April 15 at 9 am.

Season Tickets go on sale to the general public Monday, April 22 at 9 am. Choose five or more concerts and save when you create your own Series:You package, or select from one of UMS’s 10 fixed series packages, specially curated by genre.

Explore All Series

Individual event tickets will go on sale Wednesday, August 7.

UMS Playlist: Our 2014-2015 Season

This post is a part of a series of playlists curated by UMS staff, artists, and community. Check out more music here.

Now that we’ve announced our 2014-2015 season, it’s time to get more closely acquainted with its sounds. Listen along with our Spotify playlist featuring artists on our next season.

Announcing our 2014-2015 season!

We can’t wait for this season to begin.

This year, we are challenging the boundaries of convention while honoring tradition. We’re taking you on a remarkable journey that is sure to enlighten, inspire, transport, and transform. Welcome to the 2014-2015 UMS Season.

Each UMS season is designed to take you on a journey. A geographical journey throughout the world. A journey of genre, expanding definitions and dimensions. A journey inward, created to inspire selfreflection. Come witness all that we have to offer.

Find out more about who’s coming, watch our season announcement video:

For chapters of this video focusing on each series, check out our YouTube channel.

Check out our 2014-2015 season brochure:

We’ve also got the complete 2014-2015 season listing with details about each event on our website.

Which performances are you excited about? Tell us in the comments below.

2013-2014 Season Announcement Video

Our 2013-2014 season announcement video highlights some of next season’s incredible performers. Take a look at the season brochure here.

Announcing the 2013-2014 UMS Season!


Surprising. Invigorating. Disruptive. Inspiring. Captivating.

These are just a few of the words we heard when asking audiences for their impressions immediately following performances this past season. This instant reaction gets to the heart of what it means to be present: to be there, in person, interacting with some of the best performers in the world in the extraordinary transaction between artist and audience.

And our 2013-2014 season’s performances will go even one step beyond. Some traditional. Some outside the lines. All designed to move you. But only if you choose to be present.

Watch our season announcement video:

Check out our 2013-2014 season brochure:

We’ve also got the complete 2013-2014 season listing with details about each event on our website.

What performances are you excited about? Tell us in the comments below.

Need the 2013-2014 season announcement video by chapter?

Choral Union

Chamber Arts


Global Music



And more

Announcing 2012-2013 Season!

It’s an exciting time at UMS. Thanks to your generosity and passion, we are coming off of a monumental season that brought us extraordinary experiences both on and off the performance stage. As we launch our 2012-2013 season, we mark 134 years of UMS and we celebrate 50 years of Chamber Music and 100 years of Hill Auditorium, a world-renowned venue right here in Ann Arbor.

As we look ahead to 2012-2013, we wonder: What will create a stir? What will give you goosebumps? What will make you think? What will get you talking? What will leave you speechless?

The only way to know the answers is to be present, in every meaning of the word.  Our locally cherished and globally respected series of classical music, theater, dance, jazz, and global performances has the ability to challenge, excite, inspire, shift perspective, and ultimately change the way you see the world.

Find out more by:

  • Watching our season announcement video, with details on all 2012-2013 events
  • Visit our new website at for a complete season listing, as well as detailed information and media on each artist in the 2012-2013 season. Or, for a quick listing, check out our series brochure.

Subscriptions go on sale to the general public on Tuesday, May 1. Subscriber benefits include access to the best seats in the house, installment billing, free parking, free ticket exchanges, and great discounts – all yours when you subscribe to any fixed or SERIES:YOU (formerly known as Monogram) package.  Tickets to individual events go on sale on Monday, August 6, so a subscription is the best way to lock in the events you know you don’t to miss.

We can’t wait to hear from you. Tell us what you’re excited to see in the comments below!

And thank you for being part of the UMS experience.

Need the season announcement video by series?

Choral Union

Chamber Arts

International Theater



Global Music

And more

11/12 Series Brochure – view the digital version!

The 11/12 UMS season brochure just arrived at our office, and we’re getting it out in the mail just as soon as we can.  You can catch a sneak peek by viewing the digital version here
(click through for full screen view).

11/12 International Theater Series

This year’s International Theater Series features three productions at the Power Center. The series begins with Ireland’s acclaimed Gate Theater Company performing a double-bill of two one-act plays by Samuel Beckett, Endgame and Watt. As previously announced, the series continues with Einstein on the Beach, the seminal opera by Philip Glass and Robert Wilson with choreography by Lucinda Childs. Considered one of the most remarkable performance works of our time, this performances launches a world tour of what will likely be the last reconstructions of this work designed and led by its original creators. Closing the series is The Andersen Project, a solo performance created by Canadian theater visionary Robert Lepage and performed by Yves Jacques that explores sexual identity, unfulfilled fantasies, and the thirst for recognition and fame through Hans Christian Andersen’s timeless fables.

Subscription packages go on sale to the general public on Monday, May 9, and will be available through Friday, September 17. Current subscribers will receive renewal packets in early May and may renew their series upon receipt of the packet. Tickets to individual events will go on sale to the general public on Monday, August 22 (via and Wednesday, August 24 (in person and by phone). Not sure if you’re on our mailing list? Click here to update your mailing address to be sure you’ll receive a brochure.

Samuel Beckett’s Endgame and Watt
Gate Theatre of Dublin
Michael Cogan, director
Thursday, October 27, 7:30 pm
Friday, October 28, 8 pm
Saturday, October 29, 8 pm
Power Center

Straight from Ireland comes the Gate Theatre, largely considered the interpreter of Beckett in the world.  Endgame, like Waiting for Godot, is considered one of Beckett’s most important works, written in a style associated with the Theatre of the Absurd. The bizarre adventures of Watt (a novel written while Beckett was in hiding during World War II) and his struggles to make sense of the world around him is told with elegant simplicity, immense pathos, and explosive humor.  This week-long residency will be accompanied by a week-long festival of the complete Beckett works on film.

Philip Glass & Robert Wilson’s Einstein on the Beach
Lucinda Childs, choreographer
Friday, January 20, 7pm
Saturday, January 21, 7pm
Sunday, January 22,  2pm
Power Center

“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious.” — Albert Einstein

Widely credited as one of the greatest artistic achievements of the 20th century, this rarely-performed work will be reconstructed for a major international tour (including the first North American presentations ever held outside of New York City) nearly four decades after it was first performed and 20 years since its last production.  Non-narrative in form, the work uses a series of powerful recurrent images as its main storytelling device, shown in juxtaposition with abstract dance sequences created by American choreographer Lucinda Childs. Prior to the production’s final technical rehearsals and world premiere in Montpelier, France, UMS will host the creators, musicians, performers, and crew for Einstein for three weeks as they reconstruct and rehearse the work for what is likely to be the final world tour designed and led by its creators. These early preview performances will be the only opportunity to see Einstein on the Beach in the Midwest.

Click the video below to watch some excerpts from Einstein on the Beach with audio commentary from collaborator Robert Wilson.

The Andersen Project
Ex Machina
Robert Lepage, artistic director
Thursday, March 15, 7:30 pm
Friday, March 16, 8 pm
Saturday, March 17, 8 pm
Power Center

Filled to the brim with his trademark humor and visual and technological brilliance, this off-the-wall masterpiece by Canadian theater visionary Robert Lepage stars Yves Jacques (Far Side of the Moon) in a one-man tour-de-force about a Canadian writer from the rock-and-roll milieu who is unexpectedly commissioned by the Opera Garnier in Paris to write a libretto for a children’s opera.  Freely inspired by the timeless fables written by Hans Christian Andersen, who as it turns out, didn’t really like children, as well as anecdotes from the author’s personal diaries, The Andersen Project keenly explores unraveling relationships, personal demons, the thirst for recognition, and compromise that comes too late.

Return to the complete chronological list.

11/12 Dance Series

The UMS Dance Series includes four events in Ann Arbor’s Power Center. The series begins with the Mark Morris Dance group performing two nights of new repertory. Two companies make their UMS debuts: Taiwan’s Cloud Gate Dance Theatre with Water Stains on the Wall and Random Dance, a company started by Wayne McGregor, whose groundbreaking collaborations across dance, film, music, visual art, and science are evident in the company’s presentation of FAR. Finally, Ballet Preljocaj’s production of Snow White, set to music by Gustav Mahler and featuring costumes by Jean Paul Gaultier, closes the dance season.

Subscription packages go on sale to the general public on Monday, May 9, and will be available through Friday, September 17. Current subscribers will receive renewal packets in early May and may renew their series upon receipt of the packet. Tickets to individual events will go on sale to the general public on Monday, August 22 (via and Wednesday, August 24 (in person and by phone). Not sure if you’re on our mailing list? Click here to update your mailing address to be sure you’ll receive a brochure.

Mark Morris Dance Group
Friday & Saturday, September 23 & 24, 8 pm
Power Center

Mark Morris has changed the way that audiences see modern dance, with unique artistry that reflects a profound and sophisticated love of music. His company of exuberant dancers lives up to its reputation of wit, grace, and a refined musicality that is further reinforced by Morris’s use of live musicians in every performance. These two performances feature new Morris repertoire.

Excursions (Barber’s Excursions for Piano, Op. 20)
Festival Dance (Hummel Piano Quartet)
Socrates (Erik Satie’s Socrates for tenor and piano)

Water Stains on the Wall
Cloud Gate Dance Theatre
Lin Hwai-min, artistic director
Friday, October 21, 8pm
Saturday, October 22, 8pm
Power Center

Trained in tai chi, meditation, Chinese opera movement, modern dance, and ballet, Cloud Gate Dance Theatre performs a rich repertoire with roots in Asian myths, folklore, and aesthetics, all infused with a contemporary perspective. For this long-awaited UMS debut, Cloud Gate presents Hwai-min’s newest work, Water Stains on the Wall. “Water stains on the wall” is a popular metaphor that represents the highest state in the aesthetics of Chinese calligraphy. Hwai-min and dancers take off from this metaphor and create and abstract work of beauty and magic that stands sublimely on its own.

Random Dance
Wayne McGregor, artistic director
Friday, February 17, 8 pm
Power Center

Random Dance was founded in 1992 and became the instrument upon which Wayne McGregor evolved his drastically fast and articulate choreographic style.  The company became a byword for its radical approach to new technology, incorporating animation, digital film, 3D architecture, electronic sound, and virtual dancers into the live choreography.  In FAR, cutting edge design is fused with choreography made from a radical cognitive research process. FAR “talks about the Enlightenment’s fascination with the working of the mind and the dissection of the body…draw[ing] to a close with…the utmost tenderness and finality.” (The Times, London)

Snow White
Ballet Preljocaj
Angelin Preljocaj, artistic director
Thursday, April 19, 7:30 pm
Friday, April 20, 8 pm
Saturday, April 21, 8 pm
Power Center

After more than a decade since its UMS debut,  Ballet Preljocaj (pronounced prezh-oh-kahzh) returns with its production of Snow White. Angelin Preljocaj has created a work for all 26 dancers of his company, setting the Grimm brothers’ version of the fairytale to the most beautiful scores of Gustav Mahler’s symphonies for this romantic contemporary ballet. With costumes designed by Jean Paul Gaultier, this production of Snow White is sure to shake up those who have grown up with only the Disney version at their disposal.

Return to the complete chronological list.

11/12 Additional Events

Several additional events will also be presented as part of the UMS 11/12 season, and can be purchased as part of the choose-your-own Monogram Series.

Subscription packages go on sale to the general public on Monday, May 9, and will be available through Friday, September 17. Current subscribers will receive renewal packets in early May and may renew their series upon receipt of the packet. Tickets to individual events will go on sale to the general public on Monday, August 22 (via and Wednesday, August 24 (in person and by phone). Not sure if you’re on our mailing list? Click here to update your mailing address to be sure you’ll receive a brochure.

Audra McDonald
Friday, November 4, 8 pm
Hill Auditorium

She may be a Juilliard-trained four-time Tony Award-winning singer and actress who has released four solo albums and performed with every major orchestra in the US, but Audra McDonald is not one to rest on her laurels.  McDonald returns to the concert stage after her last UMS appearance in 2005; since that time, she has made her Houston Grand Opera debut, won her fourth Tony (for A Raisin in the Sun), played Olivia in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night at The Public  Theatre Shakespeare in the Park, performed at the White House for President Obama, and spent four years on the ABC series “Private Practice.” Her break from the television series allows her time to return back to her musical theater  roots, including this Hill Auditorium concert.

Canadian Brass
Sunday, November 27, 4 pm
Hill Auditorium

Five tremendous brass musicians — each a virtuoso in his own right — form the legendary Canadian Brass. With an international reputation as one of the most popular brass ensembles today, Canadian Brass features brass standards as well as a wide-ranging library of original arrangements created especially for them, including the works of Renaissance and Baroque  masters, classical works, marches, holiday favorites, ragtime, Dixieland, big band, Broadway, and popular songs and standards. This Thanksgiving-weekend concert is sure to start your holidays off with a bang.  The hallmark of any Canadian Brass performance is entertainment, spontaneity, virtuosity and, most of all,  fun.

Handel’s Messiah
Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra
UMS Choral Union
Jerry Blackstone, conductor

Saturday, December 3, 8 pm
Sunday, December 4, 2 pm
Hill Auditorium

The Grammy Award-winning UMS Choral Union (2006 “Best Choral Performance” for William Bolcom’s Songs of Innocence and of Experience) launches the holiday season with its signature work, Handel’s glorious oratorio Messiah.  An Ann Arbor tradition in the beautiful surroundings of Hill Auditorium, these performances are ultimately the heart and soul of UMS, connecting audiences not only with the talented people on stage, but also with the friends and family who attend each year.   Start off your holiday season with a spirited “Hallelujah!”

Sweet Honey In The Rock
Friday, February 17, 8 pm
Hill Auditorium

For over three decades, Sweet Honey In The Rock has used her voice to celebrate our collective humanity, singing about the challenging issues of racism; social, economic, and environmental injustice; equal rights and greed that seem to be pulling our nation apart.  The group has built a distinguished legacy as one of the most celebrated ambassadors of a cappella music, fusing five scintillating and soulful voices with the texture, harmonic blend, and raw quality that is indigenous and true to authentic a cappella music.  In the tradition of artists in action — this is the group that sang on the steps of the Supreme Court on behalf of the University of Michigan’s affirmative action case — Sweet Honey taps the spirit, encourages audiences to think, asks them to reflect, and inspires them to make a difference in their communities.

American Mavericks
San Francisco Symphony Chamber Concert
Michael Tilson Thomas, conductor
Meredith Monk and Joan La Barbara, vocals

Sunday, March 25, 4 pm
Rackham Auditorium

This final concert of the four-concert San Francisco Symphony American Mavericks residency features 17 musicians from the San Francisco Symphony performing chamber music. The festival celebrates the creative pioneering spirit and the composers who created a new American musical voice for the 20th century and beyond. American mavericks explored every sound that a full orchestra could make, but they also composed fascinating, and invigorating, chamber music. This concert features intriguing chamber works from composers whose music will shape the decades to come.

Meredith Monk | New Work
Lukas Foss | Echoi
Morton Subotnick | From Jacob’s Room
David Del Tredici | Syzygy

Return to the complete chronological list.

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